Transformative Triumphs: Nature-Based Solutions Reshape Lives for East African Refugees in Kenya

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Despite the safety these havens offer, harsh arid conditions amplify challenges in accessing vital resources. The collection of fuel wood has sparked conflicts, particularly with host communities, leading to violence against predominantly female refugees. Moreover, deforestation for fuel exacerbates environmental degradation. In response, the Resource, Re-use, and Recovery (RRR) project, funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is introducing nature-based solutions to address the food and fuel crisis in Kenyan refugee settlements.

Impact of Introduced Innovations: The RRR project aimed to enhance the resilience of both refugee and host communities by introducing nature-based solutions. These solutions, including kitchen gardens, composting, agroforestry, and energy-efficient technologies, have had a profound impact. Households reported increased consumption of vegetables, savings from reduced purchases, and improved soil health leading to higher crop yields. The project has also enabled the cultivation of various fruits and addressed the challenges associated with access to cooking energy.

As the RRR project enters its final year, it is focusing on equipping 1800 beneficiaries in Kakuma and Kalobeyei with skills and knowledge for sustainable practices. Through a Trainers of Trainers (ToTs) approach, a recent refresher training by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT reinforced these skills, ensuring the continued impact of these transformative nature-based solutions.

The success of the project is evident in the mastery displayed by the trainers during practical exercises. Michael Kinyua, a researcher from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, expressed confidence that the introduced solutions will continue to positively impact households. To reach a wider audience, the project extended its outreach to radio programs, with an estimated 250,000 listeners in both refugee and host communities. These programs addressed questions on home gardening, agroforestry, and cooking energy, providing valuable insights.

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